OOIDA State Watch

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor


The subject of time is getting attention at the statehouse. AB385 would permit voters to decide whether to ditch twice-annual time changes and stay on standard time year-round.

An alternative, AJR28, would ask Congress to allow the state to stay on daylight saving time all year. Currently, staying on daylight saving time year-round requires federal permission.


Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed an effort that called for a blanket ban of all red-light camera programs in the state. HB1231 did not cover the use of speed cameras. The governor said he issued the veto because the bill was too broad.


A new law is intended to give drivers a heads-up about red-light cameras. Effective Aug. 1, municipalities are required to post signage within 500 feet of each approaching camera. SB357 bars parishes in violation of the rule from collecting fines from red-light runners. The new rule does not cover speed cameras.


One House bill covers left lane use. Michigan law already requires drivers on roadways with at least two lanes of traffic to stay to the far right unless traffic flow is “substantially continuous.” Left lane use is also permitted to overtake and pass another vehicle. HB5707 would require motorists on affected highways to move to the right if they know, or “reasonably should know,” a faster-moving vehicle is trying to pass.


Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a bill to authorize the use of automated license plate readers. Acceptable uses of the technology include commercial trucking violations, tracking stolen vehicles and tracking people suspected of criminal or terrorist acts. Previously HB1154, the new law requires data from plates that are not included on any lists to be purged within three minutes.


A bill halfway through the statehouse would require the Turnpike Authority to hold regular meetings around the state. S1675 would require two regular meetings to be held each year on a rotating basis in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. At least one regular meeting of the authority would also be held annually on a rotating basis in the areas of Salem, Gloucester and Camden counties. One regular meeting each year would also be required in Bergen County.


Gov. Nikki Haley has signed into law a bill to raise the state’s APU weight exemption from 400 pounds to 550 pounds. The change took effect immediately. States were given the ability in 2005 to allow heavy-duty trucks to exceed the 80,000-pound maximum weight limit to encourage the use of idling-reduction equipment. The feds have since bumped up the weight allowance to 550 pounds.


Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill that amends existing statute to specify license plate scanners cannot be used for parking enforcement or traffic violations. However, S155 permits information to be collected for ongoing criminal, missing person, or commercial trucking investigations or enforcement. The DMV is authorized to manage a separate database of scanner data in connection with truck enforcement activities. Data retention is limited to 18 months.